Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has been voted the world’s best fullback by fans around the globe after defeating All Blacks playmaker Damian McKenzie in a poll on social media.
The experienced 27-year-old claimed the victory with just 0.2 percent to spare on RugbyPass‘ Facebook and Instagram accounts as part of the Straight 8 Fan Vote campaign to determine the best player on the planet in each position.
Hogg and McKenzie were left as the last two players standing in the third and final round of the knockout bracket after having fought off the challenges of some big names in the prior two rounds.
After having dominated Wales speedster Liam Williams by a 64 percent winning margin, Hogg downed former All Black and current Bristol Bears star Charles Piutau with 63 percent of the public’s backing in the semi-final clash.
On the other side of the draw, McKenzie dispatched Japanese flyer Kotaro Matsushima with ease after accruing 79 percent of the vote, before going on to thrash South African World Cup winner Willie le Roux with 70 percent of the fans’ approval.
Although he stands as one of the most captivating runners with ball in hand in the southern hemisphere, McKenzie’s high-octane style of play wasn’t enough to sway fans from electing Hogg to the RugbyPass Straight 8 Fan Vote World XV.
With 76 tests, a PRO12 title, two British and Irish Lions tours and two World Cup tournaments to his name, Hogg joins some of the game’s elite in the fan-voted team.
The Scottish skipper’s selection at fullback rounds out a compelling back three consisting of wings Semi Radradra and Cheslin Kolbe, while the presence of Maro Itoje, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Ardie Savea gives the forward pack an intimidating feel to it.
The fifth instalment of the Straight 8 Fan Vote is already underway, with eight of the world’s best No. 8s battling it out in the first round for a place in our World XV.
RugbyPass Straight 8 Fan Vote World XV (as it stands)
4. Maro Itoje (England/Saracens)
5. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa/Toulon)
6. Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa/Stormers)
7. Ardie Savea (New Zealand/Hurricanes)
11. Semi Radradra (Fiji/Bordeaux)
14. Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa/Toulouse)
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland/Exeter Chiefs)
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